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Meet Your Rip Curl GromSearch International Final Competitors

2 maggio 2018

From May 4 – 8 in Raglan, North Island of New Zealand, the Rip Curl GromSearch International Final will play host to 16 of the world’s top junior surfers from seven countries around the globe.

Former competitors at the GromSearch International Final include WSL World Champions Gabriel Medina (2014), Tyler Wright (2016, 2017) and Steph Gilmore (six times World Champion), as well as WSL World Tour regulars Owen Wright, Jordy Smith, Nikki Van Dijk, Sally Fitzgibbons and Caroline Marks – and with a list like that, the pressure is on to take home the trophy.

Over the next two days we are going to introduce you to the competitors of the International Final. Today, you’ll meet the guys and gals in the jerseys – the future generation of surfers leading the way.


Meet Finn Hill

Age: 16
Nationality: Australian
Hometown: Avoca Beach
Home break: Avoca Beach
Goofy or natural: Natural
Competitive results: National Gromsearch Champion 14 Boys 2016 16 boys Champion 2018 Skullcandy Champion 2016 2nd NSW state titles 2015 1st state high schools 2nd schools Australian titles National indigenous titles 1st junior 2nd open mens
Favourite wave: Winki pop Victoria Lakey Peak in indo
Goals in surfing: Qualify for world tour and get some world title
Greatest fear: My Mum
Inspiration: Glen Micro Hall and Mick Fanning

Photo: Ethan Smith

Meet Piper Harrison

Age: 17
Nationality: Australia
Hometown: Coolangatta, Queensland
Home break: Snapper Rocks
Goofy or natural: Natural
Competitive results: 1st Phillip Island WQS, Australia Under-18 Champion, Queensland Open Sate Champion
Favourite wave: Snapper Rocks
Goals in surfing: To win a World Title
Greatest fear: Small waves
Inspiration: Steph Gilmore

Photo: Ethan Smith


Meet Xavier Huxtable

Age: 15
Nationality: Australian
Hometown: Jan Juc, Victoria
Home break: Jan Juc
Goofy or natural: Natural
Competitive results: 2016 Australian Junior Champion, Multiple Vic Junior Champion
Favourite wave: Winki, Bingin, Keramus, Jan Juc
Goals in surfing: Surf as good as I can and make the WSL world Tour
Greatest fear: Breaking my leg playing AFL and not being able to surf for a few months
Inspiration: Surfing sick waves, Mick Fanning and John John

Photo: Ed Sloane

Meet Kirra-Belle Ollsen

Age: 17
Nationality: Aussie mate
Hometown: Avoca Beach
Home break: Avoca Beach
Goofy or natural: Goofy
Competitive results: Open Women’s National Champ
Favourite wave: Gas Bay in WA
Goals in surfing: Qualify for the CT
Greatest fear: Spiders
Inspiration: My dad

Photo: Steve Morrisette


Meet Cole Houshmand

Age: 17
Nationality: USA
Hometown: San Clemente
Home break: Lowers
Goofy or natural: Goofy
Competitive results: U18 Surfing America Champion, 2nd Place Acapulco QS 1,000, NSSA Open Junior National Champ, U14 Surfing America Champion, Rip Curl Gromsearch National Champion, LiveLikeZander WSL Pro Junior Champ
Favourite wave: Macaronis
Goals in surfing: Qualify for the WCT, and stay on for a long time
Greatest fear: Not being able to surf
Inspiration: To be the best surfer and person I can be. My Dad is a big inspiration to me also. And surfers like Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater, and John John.

Meet Keala Tomoda-Bannert

Age: 16 years old
Nationality: U.S.A
Hometown: Princeville, Kauai
Goofy or natural: Natural
Competitive results: 2nd Tahiti QS 1000, 4th Tahiti junior, 2nd sunset junior
Favorite wave: Bingin
Goals in surfing: Become a pro
Greatest fear: Not being able to surf
Inspiration: Bethany Hamilton and Tatiana Weston-Webb

Photo: Mike Latronic


Meet Guilherme Ribeiro

Age: 16
Nationality: Portuguese
Hometown: Caparica Portugal
Home break: Costa da Caparica
Goofy or natural: Natural
Competitive results: Top 16 JQS Europe, GS Portuguese Champion, GS European Champion, 2 X U14 Portuguese Champion
Favourite wave: “Coxos” Ericeira
Goals in surfing: Work hard to get into the WT and travel the world to search for the best waves
Greatest fear: Don’t have one.
Inspiration: Mick Fanning

Meet Emma Dubes

Age: 15 years old
Nationality: French
Hometown: Biarritz
Home break: “Le Club” in Anglet
Goofy or natural: Goofy
Competitive results: 1st National ranking in 2018, 1st Gromsearch French Champion, 1st Gromsearch National Champion
Favourite wave: “La Gravière” in Hossegor
Goals in surfing: To qualify on the WT
Greatest fear: Sharks
Inspiration: Johanne Defay and JJF


Meet Kona Eru Te Whata

Age: 14
Nationality: Indonesia
Hometown: Denpasar, Bali
Home break: Sanur Reef
Goofy or natural: Goofy
Competitive results: Gromsearch National Winner, 1st Bloodlines -Padma Under 14, 1st Sanur Festival Under 18, 1st Place Gromsearch Series, Cimaja, 1st Bloodlines-Canggu Under 14
Favourite wave: Sanur Reef, Keramas
Goals in surfing: Making the tour and win some events
Greatest fear: Wild animals in the ocean
Inspiration: Mason Ho, Garut Widiarta

Photo: Putu Juliantara

Meet Taina Angel Izquierdo

Age: 16
Nationality: Indonesia
Hometown: Bali
Home break: Uluwatu
Goofy or natural: Goofy
Favorite wave: Uluwatu
Goals in surfing: To be the first Indonesian girl on Tour and to inspire not only Indonesian girls but young girls all over the world to surf and to love the ocean as much as I do
Greatest fear: RATSSS!!
Inspiration: Bethany Hamilton because she is the bravest and most humble person I know! She is strong and she never gave up on the sport she loves.

Photo: Cacho


Meet Caleb Cutmore

Age: 16
Nationality: New Zealand
Hometown: Hamilton
Home break: Manu Bay
Goofy or natural: Goofy
Competitive results: 5th equal at GromSearch last year, Under 16 National Champ 2017 NZ Favourite wave: Restaurants, Fiji
Goals in surfing: Compete on the QS and see how things go from there
Greatest fear: Foil Boards
Inspiration: Anyone who’s a good surfer and a good person at the same time

Meet Saffi Vette

Age: 16
Nationality: New Zealand
Hometown: Gisborne
Home break: Northern Makorori (Northerns)
Goofy or natural: Natural
Competitive results: Ripcurl GromSearch 1st U17 • 2018, National Championships 4th Open Women • 2018, U18 Pro Junior Sun Key Zinke Sydney Pro, Australia 7th (semi finals) • 2018, National Championships 1st U18 • 2017, National championships 1st U16 • 2017, Skullcandy aus grom open, Australia 2nd U16 • 2017, ISA world junior championships, Japan 11th U16 • 2017, Backdoor grom bash Raglan 1st U20 • 2017, Billabong grom series Whangamata 1st U17 • 2017, Ripcurl GromSearch 2nd U17 • 2017, Billabong gromseries piha 3rd U17 • 2017, National scholastic championships 1st U16 • 2017, Ripcurl Pro Raglan 5th Open Women • 2017
Favourite wave: Yadori, Japan
Goals in surfing: Work hard and get good results on QS and make world tour! Or become a surf coach
Greatest fear: DYING.
Inspiration: My parents because they work really hard to give me amazing opportunities and also Steph Gilmore cause she shreds and has a rad style! Plus Andy Irons cause he’s flipping mind blowing!

Photo: Col/Surf2Surf.com

Not featured above are our two International Final competitors from Brazil, Lucas Vicente and Anne dos Santos.

Best of luck to all of the competitors in the 2018 Rip Curl GromSearch International Final, held in Raglan, New Zealand from May 4 – 8, 2018.


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